The Foyer Foundation was established in 2008 to support the expansion of the youth foyer movement in Australia. Since then, and with the support of BSL since 2017, the FF has launched and implemented an accreditation process for Youth Foyers, developed a National Community of Practice of Youth Foyers, delivered the Foyer Foundation National Conference and provided workforce training.
For more than a decade, BSL has been working in partnership with Community Service Organisations who operate Education First Youth Foyers supported by local TAFEs and Government departments. BSL’s focus has been on the development of an evidence-based youth foyer model that provides integrated learning and accommodation for up to two years for young people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
In 2022, nine Youth Foyers are accredited with the FF, with a further five on a pathway to accreditation. Through new grants and funding agreements, the FF has been able to deepen its capability to establish new projects, partnerships and workstreams and is hosting the recently established FoyerInvest initiative, a national consortium with a collective ambition to grow accredited Youth Foyers across Australia – to up to 50 by 2030 – to meet the needs of young Australians in any state or territory.
To achieve our ambition, this next phase of the FF and BSL partnership will enable service providers who employ the Foyer approach to deliver evidence-based programs and practice, and to enable innovation through learning and continuous improvement.
The Foyer Foundation (FF) and the Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) have announced a new agreement that will see both parties working in strategic collaboration to support the growing network of Youth Foyer providers across Australia, and the stakeholders and communities they engage with.
CEO of the Foyer Foundation, Liz Cameron-Smith, says:
‘The FF and BSL are committed to developing a method that will support information flow between the parties, particularly in relation to the pre-accreditation status of service organisations and the annual accreditation schedule and training offers. Where there are overlapping activities as we grow the movement, we can facilitate a seamless and integrated service to develop and accredit Youth Service Providers with additional benefits to our communities including Government agencies and funders.’
Also sharing his perspective, Executive Director of BSL, Travers McLeod, says:
‘We know the significant social and economic costs of youth homelessness and unemployment can be avoided by investing early to give young people a safe place to live with opportunities to learn and earn.
The Youth Foyers approach and growth strategy presents a huge chance for State and Federal Governments to deliver shared economic and social benefits. Most importantly, it is young people who stand to gain. The age between 16-24 is a pivotal period where young people with different needs must be